About Our Leaders

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Jeremy Avis

Musical Director


Performer, composer, conductor, Jeremy was a Choral Scholar at New College Oxford and  has made his name in bringing World Music to the repertoire of local community Choirs. In addition to singing as a member of The Shout, Arabo-Andalusian Group Joglaresa and his own world music band, Korasong Radio, he also sings and records regularly with the Society of Strange and Ancient Instruments and the Voice Project Quintet.

He has sung and acted at the National Theatre and the RSC and has conducted choirs in Botswana and Norway. Jeremy was Musical Director of the New Forest Community Choir from 2003 until 2008 and is currently also the Director of Cranbourne Community Choir in Dorset. 

In 2012, he was Musical Director of a large-scale Cultural Olympiad project, the Tree of Light, conducting over 300 singers and musicians during the Olympic torch relay. In 2014, along with his partner, Rebecca Askew, he delivered a musical based programme in the Dzaleka Refugee camp in Malawi, to promote social cohesion. Most recently, he sang and performed in 'As You Like it', which included original music by Orlando Gough, at the National Theatre. During summer 2016, Jeremy will be performing in the Globe Theatre's world tour of 'the Merchant of Venice', starring Jonathan Price. Jeremy has been leading Earthly Voices since 2013.

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Emily Leather

Musical Director



Earthly Voices welcomed Emily as our new leader in January 2019 when she took over from Jeremy Avis - a hard act to follow but from the start she has embraced the ethos of the choir as we have applauded her sunny personality and huge experience in choir leading.

Originally from Chester and now based in London, Emily enjoys a varied career as a repetiteur, vocal coach and music director for choirs, opera companies and theatre groups, as well as working as an arranger and composer. She graduated from the University of Leeds, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, Ohio.

In the US, Emily has been worked with Cincinnati Opera, Portland Opera, Kentucky Opera and Opera Manhattan. In the UK she has been the MD for Opera Up Close, in West End productions of La Boheme, Don Giovanni and Tosca as well as UK tours of Barber of Seville and La Boheme. Other work in the UK includes productions for British Youth Opera, London Lyric Opera, Glyndebourne and the Royal Opera House. Emily recently completed a UK tour and residency at the Young Vic theatre as onstage MD for The Events, an award winning play that featured a different community choir on stage at every performance.

She loves opera, and regularly runs workshops for Opera North, Royal Opera House, Garsington Opera, English National Opera, Aldeburgh Music, English Pocket Opera and the Southbank Centre. And she also enjoys teaching and conducting a wide range or repertoire to Community Choirs.